If you think that bullying is just a part of everyday school life, you’re wrong. No-one deserves to be bullied and the problem shouldn’t be ignored.
What counts as bullying?
A child doesn’t have to be physically beaten up or hurt to be a victim of bullying. Teasing, being threatened and name calling can all be classed as forms of bullying.
There are lots of reasons why people are bullied. Some people are picked on because of their religion or race, while others are chosen because of their weight, the clothes they wear or because they’re smart – things that no-one should be ashamed of.
Children must understand that if they are being bullied, they don’t have to put up with it and there are many people that can help them do something about it.
How it can affect a child
Children that are being bullied, may feel trapped or alone. They may find it harder to make friends or talk to other people their own age. School work may suffer because they’re worried about what might happen at school the next day.
Children need to know that if they finding it hard to concentrate on school work and live life normally, or are worried that the bullying may turn violent and are scared for their safety, they must tell a teacher or parents. They may find it difficult at first, but it’s vital that they let them know what’s happening so they can help you do something about it.
Bullying by mobile phone
Mobile phones can also be used to bully people.
Victims of mobile bullying may have been sent a rude or scary text directly to their phone, or you could have had voicemail messages sent to their phone that are threatening or just long periods of silence.
Victims of cyberbullying may have received photo messages which make them feel uncomfortable.
Remember that bullying isn’t just something that happens when you’re face to face with someone – it can happen over the phone or even on the internet.
When a child knows someone being bullied
Your child may not be affected by bullying his/herself, but may see someone being threatened or teased and want to do something about it.
It’s not a good idea for him/her to get involved with the incident themself as they may get in trouble, but they shouldn’t just ignore it. If they know the person being bullied, they should try to encourage them to speak to someone about what’s happening.
If appropriate, they may want to mention the problem to a teacher or a parent in confidence. Your school may also run anti-bullying schemes that you can get involved in if you feel strongly about getting rid of bullying.
The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School–How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence
This is an extremely helpful book that both parents and teachers can use to deal with bullying, an aspect of school that the author feels “is a life-and-death issue that we ignore at our children’s peril.” Staring with a bottom-line assumption that “bullying is a learned behavior,” Coloroso (Parenting Through Crisis) wonderfully explains not only the ways that the bully, the bullied and the bystander are “three characters in a tragic play” but also how “the scripts can be rewritten, new roles created, the plot changed.” For each of the three “characters,” she breaks down the behavior that defines each role, analyzes the specific ways that each character can have their behaviors changed for the better, and suggests a range of methods that parents and educators can use to identify bullying behavior and deal with it effectively.
“Bully Coach” Joel Haber, Ph.D., is one of the foremost experts in the prevention of bullying. A pioneer in the field, he has worked with thousands of kids, parents, teachers, counselors, and others to understand the root causes of the bullying dynamic-from identifying bully types to exposing the reasons why kids become bullies, targets, or bystanders-and stamp it out once and for all.
Delivering a practical, supportive, and step-by-step “bullyproofing prescription” that yields lasting results for both boys and girls, from grade school through high school, Bullyproof Your Child for Life offers specific action steps to help any child build resilience and confidence, develop compassion and trust, and thrive in school, camp, sports, and beyond.